NERO is an international publishing house devoted to art, criticism and contemporary culture. Founded in Rome in 2004, it publishes artists’ books, catalogs, editions and essays.

NERO explores present and future imaginaries beyond any field of specialization, format or code – as visual arts, music, philosophy, politics, aesthetics or fictional narrations – extensively investigating unconventional perspectives and provocative outlooks to decipher the essence of this ever changing reality.

Contacts:
NERO
Lungotevere degli Artigiani 8/b
00153 – Rome
Italy
+390697271252
[email protected]
[email protected]

Distribution:
Les presses du réel
Vice Versa Art Books
Anagram Books
DAP – Distributed Art Publishers
ALI Libri

Privacy Policy - Cookie Policy

Heads of Content:
Valerio Mannucci, Lorenzo Micheli Gigotti

Creative Director:
Francesco de Figueiredo

Editor at large:
Luca Lo Pinto

Editors:
Clara Ciccioni, Tijana Mamula, Valerio Mattioli, Corrado Melluso

News Editor:
Giulia Crispiani

Designers:
Federico Antonini, Elisa Chieruzzi, Lorenzo Curatola, Lola Giffard-Bouvier

Administration and Production:
Linda Lazzaro

Distribution:
Davide Francalanci

The Body Is A Chorus

with Florence Jung, Luzie Meyer, and the International Necronautical Society

Curated by Alessia Volpe, That the Body Is a Chorus, Bound to Disappear is a research project hosted by Tarsia, a non-profit exhibition space incorporated in a plant and flower shop in the ancient center of Naples, founded by artist Antonio Della Corte in 2018 and run together with the Molisso Family. 

 

 

“Listen: the world is a sign of restless visibility, greater than six miles.”

We wanted to become extinct spectacularly. We didn’t want to live and lament, we didn’t want to have time to kiss tomorrow goodbye. We hoped we would breathe painfully because of a dangerously approaching planet sucking our atmosphere; we have seen too many films, read too many books, and played too many video games, we were expecting the Big Boom. “Hold my hand. Close your eyes”. We wanted to disappear completely, suddenly, irreversibly [1], to remain only in the memory of security cameras —the ones we hated so much— for some future species to watch and unlearn. But as it turns out, disappearance is a process. How long will it take though? How long did it take for the chorus to disappear? Since while we were crying over closed discotheques, the robots were learning how to dance. And since what is worse is, more than nihilistic, we are a narcissistic club, dying to be the one that ends history.

“Listen: Babble of voices, 90.3 MHz, internal party dissonance. Several highs from the Atlantic to the Baltic. 
Ring tones in commercials and screaming hosts of the new generation.”

“Listen: Risperidone and Bupropion for new-onset depression with psychotic features, 
Filtering the voice of America. Withered into the air.”

We were the chorus and we moved on stage in a homogeneous group, dancing, singing, and speaking our lines in unison, commenting with a common voice on the dramatic action. We were the wise elders of Thebes, the Satyrs slaves to a Cyclops, the Trojan women, a host of avenging Erinyes. We were fifty, acting as the main performer in relation to a solitary actor, but in time our importance declined; Aeschylus lowered our number to twelve, then Sophocles raised it again to fifteen, until we eventually disappeared. The chorus was one body and, while forced outside the stage —and the exhibition space—, the body was terrorised of the other bodies, trapped inside its own brain, memory dangerously blending with imagination [2], as if Charlie Brooker and Charlie Kaufman were scriptwriting together the effects of some sort of collective doomsday delusion.

“Listen: Stockholm, within the umbra, 08:40–09:42. Brain injury to the right cerebral hemisphere, dark river-nymph, her name is Echo, and she always answers back, expressed in Terrestrial Dynamic Time. Tomorrow will be three minutes and fifty-seven seconds longer.”

“Listen: Ovid 251 Fight the Chimera. Winds aloft extended decode. Seminole. Going once going twice.”

We constantly expect certain movements and outcomes, as human beings, as part of human interaction, communication, and space. And now that the body is back [3], exhibition spaces are asked to fulfill their raison d’être, to provide some form of spectacle. But this show is a disposition of disappearances; and this text is also a product of disappearance—of mediation? of curating?—, refusing to offer information about the way the work is to be perceived. “Life on Earth is evil”. One might consider this catharsis, an emotional cleansing of the art spectator. The art exhibition as event, let’s hold it in abeyance, as potentiality, for a little longer.

There is nothing to see here. It is just a plant and flower shop.

“Listen: between cities, countries, and continents, we are going to crash.”

 

[1] Luzie Meyer recorded the five-voice madrigal “Lamento d’Arianna”, from “L’Arianna” by Claudio Monteverdi. It is the second opera by the Italian composer and one of the earliest operas in general, first performed in 1608 as part of the musical festivities for a royal wedding at the court of Duke Vincenzo Gonzaga in Mantua. 
The lament follows Ariadne and Theseus’ flee from Crete, where they had been complicit in the slaying of her monster half-brother, the Minotaur, in the labyrinth below the palace of her father, King Minos. Arriving on the island of Naxos, Ariadne is troubled by her disloyalty to her father, but solid in her love for Theseus, and returns to the shore to resume with him on their way to Athens, only to find that he has departed, abandoning her. On the beach, Ariadne sings her lament for her lost love. “Lasciatemi morire, lasciatemi morire”. All the music from the opera is lost, apart from this aria.

[2] Florence Jung —or Luca Bruelhart or Lukas Brulhard— writes scenarios that infiltrate reality. A feeling of suspicion and the tangible presence of an absence are at the base of a system around which her scripted situations are built. As any sort of documentation is eluded, nothing but traces remain of her work: gossips and rumours, stolen images in the phones of those who have seen (or believe to have seen), slippery memories, the let-down of expectations. To see Florence Jung’s piece, go to the fruit and vegetable store across the street and ask for Giuseppe.

[3] The International Necronautical Society was founded by novelist Tom McCarthy in 1999, and comprises an amorphous and often occluded network of writers, artists, philosophers, and others, surfacing the art world through publications, media interventions, artworks, and live events. 
In 2003 at the ICA in London, they used Burroughs’s cut-up technique of blending together phrases from newspapers, websites, meteorological reports, and other media sources, to produce sequences that were then read over radio. They were inspired by Cocteau’s 1950 film “Orphée”, where the protagonist hears lines of coded radio transmissions from the afterworld, in scenes modelled on the secret communications networks operated by the Résistance during the Second World War. In the film, Orpheus is driving Eurydice away to a safe place, she is sitting in the back, he accidentally (?) looks in the rear view mirror, she disappears.

 

Alessia Volpe is an independent curator and producer based in Naples. As an art historian specialized in the administration and management of contemporary artistic production, her research is focused on Sound Art practices and the issues related to their existence in the exhibition space. She has been director of Fondazione Morra Greco from 2017 to 2020, and director of T293 gallery in Naples from 2011 to 2016, and in 2015 the coordinator for the presentation of James Beckett for the Belgian Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale.